I believe my ex-wife’s new husband has adopted my child without my knowledge, yet I continue to pay child support.
How do I find out if my child was adopted?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Typically, in order for a child to be adopted, the parental rights of the parents must be terminated prior to the adoption being allowed.
However, if a father is never listed on birth certificate, then the court generally presumes that there are no rights to terminate.
In order for a person to seek support for a child from another person, paternity must be established or the person must be listed on the birth certificate. Given the facts that you have presented, it appears that your rights would have to have been terminated in order for the other man to adopt your child.
If adoption has occurred and your parental rights were terminated, you are no longer under a duty to support the child. However, if no adoption has truly occurred, then you are still responsible to support the child.
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In order for an adoption to take place, a court record would have to be established. You certainly could contact the local courts where your ex-wife resided and determine if an adoption case was ever initiated in any of those courts; adoptions are generally public record but the child’s name will be protected and not listed.
However, since you know your wife’s name and presumably her husband’s name, they would both be named Plaintiffs in an adoption action so you should be able to determine if an adoption action was ever completed.
Also, in order for an adoption to take place, notice must be given to the parent whose rights are going to be terminated. If it is alleged that the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, then notice must be placed in local papers.
Therefore, another option is for you to look in the local papers from where your ex-wife resided around the time your son was allegedly adopted to determine if any notice was ever placed in a local paper.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.